I now realize that I should write about the books I read soon after completing them. If I wait, I will forget important things that I wanted to mention. Such is the case with this read. All I can recall of my immediate reaction upon completing it is that it’s still my least liked book in the series.
The first time I read this book, years ago, I was turned off by Harry’s angst and hardheadedness. This time it’s because of the same reasons plus the fact that Harry refused to do his homework and practice Occlumency, assuming that he knew best and could prowl around Voldemort’s mind without Voldemort being aware. Of course, this reason could also be attributed to his immense hardheadedness.
Many things happen in this installment, afterall, it is a pretty big book. Things become more serious and though there are a few comical moments, the tone of the story is more mature. Harry and his pals are teenagers and are learning the ways of the world, including the fact that adults can’t always be trusted. In this installment, Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, blatantly refuses to believe Lord Voldemort is back. He believes that Dumbledore simply wants to take his position as Minister of Magic. Fudge retaliates by discrediting Dumbledore and Harry Potter in the newspaper The Daily Prophet and places an informant, Dolores Umbridge, at Hogwarts to keep an eye on Dumbledore’s activities. Dumbledore simply sees Fudge as a nuisance because he has more important things to worry about—the return of Lord Voldemort.
It was an okay read. I wasn’t overjoyed by it but I was hooked on the story as always. Well, I’m always hooked on anything J.K. Rowling writes. Of course, I will have to read The Casual Vacancy to prove this true. I love the Harry Potter series and I appreciate this installment, which is somewhat different from the previous two in that it deviates from including an appearance from Lord Voldemort. Instead, we are shown how much fear acts as a tool that aids Voldemort’s influence and power.
Fear is essential to Voldemort’s power. People fear him so much that they are afraid to say his name and instead refer to him as “He Who Must Not Be Named.” It’s as if by uttering his name he will immediately appear and wreck havoc on that unfortunate person’s life.
In this installment we learn what Harry fears. Naturally, we (and all the adults in the book) assume that Harry fears Voldemort. After all, Voldemort, though physically weakened, is powerful through influence and is immensely evil. Furthermore, he wants to kill Harry. But no; it’s not Voldemort. The next logical assumption would be the immediate threat, Sirius Black, since through much of the novel it is assumed that he broke out of Azkaban (the only wizard able to do such a thing) for the sole purpose of murdering Harry (completing his master’s wishes, supposedly). But no; not him either.